Masking
Masking

Raw material and the pre-treatment process.
"Put good parts in, get good parts out."

This step is used to cover any area that should not be painted. (Example: Threads, machine surfaces, bearing shafts, etc.)

Hanging
Hanging

Raw material and the pre-treatment process.
"Put good parts in, get good parts out. "

Parts are inspected and hung on the line in a manner that will not hold water, will not waste space, and yet give the painter access to all areas to be painted. Any rust, marker, or stickers are removed mechanically. We have the ability to design custom racking for those parts that present unique characteristics or have exceptionally high volume in order to control costs.

Pre-treatment
Pre-treatment

Raw material and the pre-treatment process.
"Put good parts in, get good parts out. "

Powder Coating starts with metal preparation. The better the preparation, the better the final product. Here at Hartford Finishing, we utilize reverse osmosis in our 5 and 6 stage wash cycles to ensure the cleanest process available. We begin with a heated Alkaline Cleaner which removes the grease, dirt, oil, or loose metal shavings. This is followed by one or two rinse cycles, depending on the paint line. After that, an Iron Phosphate cleaner etches the metal for better paint adhesion. All chemical concentrations and Ph levels are electronically monitored and logged throughout the day to ensure the best possible preparation. A final rinse cycle with a chemical sealant fully prepares the part for painting.

Drying
Drying

After the parts are washed and the excess water blown off, the parts travel into the dryoff oven. Once there, the parts are heated to remove any remaining or trapped water.

Powder Application
Powder Application

This is where the powder is applied. There are several different methods of application including:

Manual Application - Personnel handle the paint guns inside the paint booth
Automatic Booths with Recovery Systems - These are the systems of the future. The booth electronically senses the part as it enters, applies the paint, and recovers the paint material that misses the part. The booth then filters the reclaimed paint and introduces it back into the system at around 98% efficiency. Hartford Finishing currently employs both Nordson and Wagner Powder Booth Technologies in our paint lines.
Fluid Bed Application - Parts are submerged into the paint. This process is used when a thicker coating is desired.

Curing
Curing

The painted parts then travel into the cure oven. The oven is preset to the manufacturer's heat specifications, which can range from 250-500°. As the powder heats up, it fluidizes and seals around the part to a uniform thickness. Parts remain in the oven for a prescribed time to ensure a proper finish.

(Manufacturers of powder paint are constantly working on low cure paints. There are now paints that cure at temperatures lower than 200° and some that can be cured by UV light.)

Cool Down
Cool Down

Parts are removed from the oven and allowed to cool. Most parts cool quickly and can be ready for inspection in minutes. But heavy castings and large gauge material need time to cool. (The paint has already cured - but the parts are too hot to handle.)

Inspection
Inspection

We feel this is the most important step we have here at Hartford Finishing next to the cleaning process. The parts are inspected and removed from the powder line before being packaged. A visual inspection is performed on all parts painted at Hartford Finishing. We also perform the following tests for various customers to assure their parts perform up to their specifications:

MEK Tests, Cross Hatch, MIL Test, Salt Spray, Impact, Mandrel Bend, Gloss
(See Quality page for a detailed explanation of tests)

Our full-time Quality Engineer makes sure that the parts we paint perform beyond your expectations.

Packaging
Packaging

Every part that leaves Hartford Finishing has to have the necessary packaging to ensure it arrives to the customer without defect. Our knowledgeable staff and the latest packaging equipment allows us to protect your parts for shipment. (We can utilize packaging materials that you provide or we can take care of everything.)

We also have the in-house capability to design and manufacture custom racking and containers which ensures your finished product is protected during transit.